Flamenco dancer Fiona Malena considers herself a musician.
So rhythmic is the style of dance she immigrated to Spain to learn and perfect, she sees the dancer as a part of the band.
And hers is a band of worldly talent with Indian, Jewish, Arabic and Latin influences.
“The thing about flamenco is that it’s not a dance performance,” she said. “It’s very multidimensional.”
Puertas, the performance they will showcase in Kelowna this week, draws on the talents of a world-renown hang (drum) specialist, a new melodic percussion instrument played by Liron Man. In addition one can hear a sitar, Arabic flute and Oude as the quartet take the stage.
Malena is a leader in every sense of the world in her field. The organizer of the Calgary Flamenco Festival and a regular Canadian touring artist, she has been teaching workshops at Mission Dance Studio for several years as part of the ongoing outreach she does to help grow her art form.
Regularly collaborating with top Spanish flamenco artists like El Torombo, José Anillo and Ramón Martinez, she says she chose this style of dance, in part, because she knew it was something she could spend a lifetime developing to enjoy a full career.
Although she was born in Canada she now resides in Seville, Spain and says her mother’s push to keep her in the arts as a child inspire and made her unique career path possible.
Now hoping to breath that same spark of enthusiasm into some of the young dancers she will work with at the local studio, Malena says the evening concert performance will be worth seeing for any arts fan.
“It’s an experience I don’t think Kelowna often has so we just want to encourage everyone to come out and see it,” she said.
Fiona Malena performs at the Rotary Centre for the Arts this Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door.